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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 99-05-18

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] France and Greece to press for UN resolution on Kosovo
  • [02] Papandreou strongly condemns rocket attack on German ambassador's residence
  • [03] Kranidiotis cites successful EU-Cyprus accession talks
  • [04] Preparatory heart surgery on Serbian baby successful
  • [05] Simitis confers with Prodi on new EU executive, Kosovo
  • [06] Tsohatzopoulos says escalation of Yugoslav conflict will impede political settlement
  • [07] Two Turkish boats enter Greek territorial waters near Imia islets
  • [08] Humanitarian aid sent to Yugoslavia
  • [09] Tsohatzopoulos says nothing negotiable in the Aegean
  • [10] State telecom set for new float in July
  • [11] Stocks slump in technical correction
  • [12] Mutual fund assets represent 50 pct of bank deposits
  • [13] Investment companies show rise in market value
  • [14] Naoussa Spinning Mills to boost share capital
  • [15] Conference held on small and medium size enterprises
  • [16] Athens Foreign Exchange
  • [17] 'Greece and the New Balkans'

  • [01] France and Greece to press for UN resolution on Kosovo

    PARIS, 18/05/1999 (ANA- I. Afentouli)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday that efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis through the adoption of a UN Security Council resolution were at the most difficult and sensitive point.

    "We are at the most difficult and sensitive moment of the procedure that could lead to a diplomatic solution through the adoption of a Security Council resolution," he stated after two-and-a-half-hour talks with French counterpart Hubert Vedrine.

    "Conditions are that the deployment of a multinational force is accepted, that all refugees return to their homes and that the provisional administration in Kosovo prepares the integration of the area in the European family," he added.

    The two men discussed the crisis in the region and the Stability Pact promoted by Germany, which was adopted by the 15 EU foreign ministers in Brussels yesterday.

    Mr. Vedrine stated the need for the preparation and adoption as soon as possible of a UN draft resolution that will open the way for an end to the crisis.

    "France and Greece will be cooperating closely, undertaking specific bilateral initiatives in the Balkans," he added.

    Asked if he agreed with the Greek proposal for a temporary ceasefire, Mr. Vedrine replied that the adoption of a UN resolution had priority over any other action.

    "The ceasefire, too, is linked with the adoption of a resolution that will be possible to implement in Kosovo as soon as possible," he added.

    Papandreou says Greek-Italian view on Kosovo 'gaining ground' : BRUSSELS (ANA- M. Spinthourakis/ Y. Zitouniati) - Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday that the view in favour of as speedy as possible a settlement of the Kosovo crisis through diplomatic means and the active participation of the UN Security Council, supported mainly by Greece and Italy, were gaining ground.

    Italy and Greece are promoting a peace initiative complementary to that of the proposals of the G-8.

    Mr. Papandreou, who represented Greece at the EU foreign ministers' council along with Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, discussed with German counterpart Joschka Fischer the Greek proposal for a 48-hour ceasefire and consent in a Securi ty Council draft resolution. He described as particularly positive the Italian proposal for an end to the NATO bombings if the Security Council adopted a binding resolution for Yugoslav President Milosevic, and stressed that Greece was promoting similar ideas at the diplomatic level, had already drawn up a draft resolution for the Security Council, and had submitted one jointly with the Czech Republic to NATO.

    During yesterday's session, the 15 had the opportunity to meet with moderate Kosovar Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova and Montenegrin president Milo Tzuganovic and to exchange views.

    According to sources, both leaders expressed the view that the Rambouillet accord could be the basis for a settlement of the problem, while Mr. Rugova said the preferrable solution for the Kosovars would be independence.

    Mr. Papandreou said he invited Mr. Rugova to visit Greece and the invitation was favourably accepted. The foreign minister also met with Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, in Brussels to attend the Russia-EU cooperation council.

    Shortly before this meeting, Mr. Papandreou stressed the special role which Russia will play in the efforts to find a peaceful solution and expressed the hope that from the meetings both men will have in Helsinki today with Finnish President Marti Ahti saari, US Assistant Secretary of State Strobe Talbot, positive results will emerge to provide the basis for a UN resolution. Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin will also be attending.

    Mr. Papandreou is going to Moscow on Friday, May 21, Beijing on Monday, May 24, and finally Washington.

    Reppas : Meanwhile, Press Minister Dimitris Reppas said in Athens the government believed its proposal for a 48-hour temporary ceasefire in Yugoslavia was feasible.

    Mr. Papandreou announced over the weekend that he would propose a temporary 48-hour truce to give diplomacy time to work towards a final settlement of the Yugoslav conflict.

    Saying he would make the same recommendations to Washington and Moscow, Papandreou said Belgrade would have to give a clear response during the truce, which pause would also give the UN Security Council time to issue a resolution on the problem and for work to begin on the agreement drafted by the G-8 two weeks ago.

    Replying to questions, Mr. Reppas said the Greek government believed that Yugoslavia would not have any objections to the proposal, although it had not taken a position as yet.

    Athens News Agency

    [02] Papandreou strongly condemns rocket attack on German ambassador's residence

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou yesterday strongly condemned a rocket attack against the home of the German ambassador in Athens, which police believe to be the work of the notorious "November 17" terrorist organisation.

    Using strong language, Mr. Papandreou said in a statement: "I condemn in a most categorical manner the bomb attack against the house of the German ambassador and wish to express my sincere sentiments of sympathy to his family and the ambassador personal ly."

    Mr. Papandreou said that while Greece "is undertaking diplomatic initiatives for a political settlement of the Kosovo problem and, by doing so, it has strengthened its international image, such actions cause serious questions as to the real targets (of such attacks)."

    "The excellent climate of relations between Greece and Germany will in no way be disturbed by such actions," Mr. Papandreou added.

    The 3.5 inch rocket fired late on Sunday night from a distance of about 150 yards from the German envoy's residence in the residential Athens suburb of Halandri grazed a tree-top before smashing on the mansion's roof causing damage but no injuries.

    German ambassador Karl-Heinz Albert Kuhna and his family were in the house at the time of the attack which occurred one hour before midnight Sunday.

    So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but police believe that it bears the hallmarks of the elusive "November 17" terrorist group which has used similar rockets in numerous previous attacks.

    Public Order Ministry General Secretary Dimitris Efstathiades who rushed to the scene described the attack as "a provocation against Greece and not against the German ambassador."

    Mr. Efstathiades said the reasons of the attack were "obviously linked to the events in Yugoslavia, but in substance it sabotages the peaceful movements active during this period."

    He said that he had spoken to the German envoy, who confronted the attack in a "cool manner and told me that he had heard of terrorist actions, but never thought that he himself would be the target of such an action."

    A police spokesman said the rocket grazed a tree-top before hitting the roof of the ambassador's home, where it exploded.

    There was a guard outside the ambassador's residence at the time of the attack, but the guard had not seen any suspicious movements, the police spokesman said, adding that the spot where the launcher had been set up lacked visibility.

    He also said it was unclear how the rocket was launched, but police believe it was launched by remote control.

    A police source told ANA that the area surrounding the ambassador's residence was monitored by a closed camera system, and the videotapes would be examined to see if the cameras had picked up the perpetrators.

    Until yesterday morning, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and police fear that leaves open the possibility of another attack.

    Anti-terrorist police officers investigating the attack later said they had found traces of blood where the rocket was launched and that these would undergo DNA testing.

    They said it appeared that the makeshift plastic pipe used to launch the rocket had broken and injured the person using it.

    Also found at the scene was a cap, which police said the attackers probably used to disguise themselves with.

    They said they were almost certain that the attackers were from November 17, as the 3.5mm rocket used was the same as those stolen by November 17 from an army base in Larisa.

    German ambassador : Ambassador Kunha, who took up his appointment here two weeks ago, condemned the attack because he said the rocket could have hit an apartment building behind the ambassadorial residence and prospectively injuring Greek citizens.

    Being a potential target was one of the risks of being an ambassador, Mr. Kuhna said, adding that he felt safe here and expressing the hope that many German tourists would visit Greece this year.

    "I do not consider the attack as being directed against me or, more particularly, against Germany," he said.

    Government reaction : The government yesterday "strongly condemned" the rocket attack saying such actions were "directed against Greece".

    Addressing journalists, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas expressed certainty that the "17 November" terrorist group was behind the attack.

    The target of the attack was the country's "political stability and smooth course," he said, adding that such attacks failed in their target, were unanimously condemned, and only succeeded in isolating the perpetrators.

    Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party and the Coalition of the Left also condemned the attack.

    "There is no Greek citizen who does not condemn the cowardly and treacherous action of the terrorists, no matter what they call themselves," said ND spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos. He also blamed the government for what he called the "dissolution of the anti-terrorist squad".

    The Coalition of the Left expressed its "abhorrence" over the attack in a statement, stressing that terrorism had at last to be quashed as it directly threatened democratic institutions.

    German foreign ministry : BONN (ANA - P. Stangos) - The German foreign ministry does not wish to "enlarge" Sunday night's rocket attack on the German ambassador's residence in Halandri and, according to a ministry spokeswoman, it does not intend to revise the travel "non-advisory" it issued on May 6 and with which the "green light" is maintained for German tourist arrivals in Greece.

    Diplomatic sources said Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer was informed of statements by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou "with satisfaction" and had a telephone conversation with the German ambassador yesterday morning.

    The sources said Germany does not believe that the terrorist attack on the ambassador's residence can "cast shadows on the excellent bilateral relations between Bonn and Athens."

    The Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman on tourism and security issues said the announcement issued on May 6 continues to hold.

    "The Foreign Ministry does not recommend the avoidance of trips to Greece," said the announcement issued in the light of the Kosovo crisis, and not on possible dangers from acts of terrorism, and made the assessment that "the situation prevailing in Kosovo does not have repercussions on tourist regions in Greece."

    Athens News Agency

    [03] Kranidiotis cites successful EU-Cyprus accession talks

    BRUSSELS, 18/05/1999 (ANA - Y. Zitouniati)

    Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis said the conclusion of Cyprus' accession negotiations in sectors concerning customs association and foreign relations at the Council held here yesterday was an important devel opment.

    France and the Netherlands lifted their reservations, which Mr. Kranidiotis attributed "to Greece's effective diplomatic activity."

    The Council, held in preparation for the Cologne summit, also focused on the development of a common defence policy for the European Union and specifically the gradual incorporation of the West European Union (WEU) with the EU, although the Amsterdam Treaty anticipates the progressive shaping of a common defence policy in the framework of the Common Foreign Policy and Defence Policy (KEPPA), due to the recent dramatic developments in the Balkans and the indisputable need for Europe to play an active role in averting conflicts.

    Greece contributed to this initial scepticism which will be specified at the Cologne summit with the submission of a memorandum by Mr. Kranidiotis setting out Greek positions which favour the WEU's incorporation with the EU and, in parallel, place parti cular emphasis on strengthening solidarity between EU member-states as a result of common defence policy.

    Athens News Agency

    [04] Preparatory heart surgery on Serbian baby successful

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    A five-hour preparatory surgical procedure on the heart of a two-month old Serbian baby boy yesterday was successful, doctors in the baby's care at Onassion Hospital said. Gregor Bladic was transported from Belgrade almost a week ago as he was born with a congenital heart condition which requires open heart surgery not available in the Serbian capital.

    Doctors also noted that they are very optimistic over the success of the major operation due next week, adding that they may need to perform a third operation so as to totally correct the problem.

    Athens News Agency

    [05] Simitis confers with Prodi on new EU executive, Kosovo

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    European Commission President-designate Romano Prodi met with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday to confer on the make-up of the new European Union executive.

    Both men said they had found common ground on a number of issues and said they supported the concept of a strong European Commission spurring the European Union forward.

    "The new Commission must be the coordinator of the Union's other institutional agencies," Mr. Simitis said.

    On the agenda of their talks were portfolios for commissioners and the appointment procedures. No announcements are expected until after June 13, when elections for the European Parliament end.

    Mr. Simitis noted that the EU had been slow to shape policy on the Balkans and said that this was a priority for the 15-nation bloc.

    He said that the Union should acquire a complete policy for the restructuring of the Balkans.

    Answering to a relevant question, the Greek premier said that "for us there is no issue of resorting to ground forces operations (in Kosovo)", noting that the war should end as soon as possible.

    Both leaders agreed that diplomatic initiatives aiming at the peaceful resolution of the crisis should continue.

    Mr. Simitis said such efforts "at this time are focused in Finland while relevant discussions will take place on Tuesday."

    The Greek premier also noted that Foreign Minister George Papandreou will be in Finland today for contacts with diplomats who are already in that country.

    The two men also discussed the issue of portfolios to be handed down to the new members of the European Commission, developments in the Union as well as in Kosovo.

    Meeting with Karamanlis : Mr. Prodi also met with main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis who underlined the need for a joint foreign and security policy.

    Mr. Karamanlis said that military operations in Yugoslavia had to end and a peaceful settlement arrived at because, he said, there was a danger of destabilisation in the entire region.

    He said he told Mr. Prodi of his party's proposal for a three-member committee to oversee a post-conflict agreement in Kosovo, the convening of an international conference on southeast Europe in Thessaloniki and the drafting of a plan to rebuild the Balkans.

    He said he also found Mr. Prodi in agreement on the principle that the new commissioner from Greece should be a personality with wide acceptance, implying that they should not have close ties to the ruling party.

    Athens News Agency

    [06] Tsohatzopoulos says escalation of Yugoslav conflict will impede political settlement

    SOFIA, 18/05/1999 (ANA - B.Borisov)

    An escalation of the conflict in Yugoslavia will complicate and impede a political settlement of the crisis, Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said here yesterday.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Ananiev, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the priority now was to bolster all political and diplomatic initiatives for a peaceful settlement.

    The minister was speaking after talks with Mr. Ananiev during the first day of his official two-day visit to Sofia.

    "Greece is actively supporting every effort to bolster dialogue, every peace initiative for a peaceful settlement of the crisis," Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said.

    Both men were in agreement on the need for a peaceful resolution of the problem as soon as possible, through stepped-up efforts on the political level, initiatives and dialogue aimed at creating a multinational peace force with the participation of various countries both from NATO and elsewhere.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos stressed the need for the participation of Russia and Ukraine so that the force would be able to guarantee any future peace agreement and safety for citizens.

    Greece is fully prepared to participate - along with other countries - so that there is effective progress towards peace, he said.

    The two ministers also signed an agreement of mutual reconaissance of armaments and war industry products by the two countries.

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that "in Bulgaria as well, there is a common opinion for the need of a promotion of a political and diplomatic solution a soon as possible."

    Following meetings with Bulgaria's President Petar Stoyanov and Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said "the Balkans, which over the past 10 years are a hostage of developments, demand as soon as possible a political solution, so that they may be able to at last deal with their own contribution to the development of peace and creativeness in the region."

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos also met with main opposition socialist leader Georgi Parvanov and Bulgarian Parliament President Jordan Sokolov, while today he will be visiting the city of Veliko Tarnovo.

    Athens News Agency

    [07] Two Turkish boats enter Greek territorial waters near Imia islets

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    Two Turkish boats entered Greek territorial waters near the Imia islets yesterday but left after being warned off by a Greek patrol boat, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.

    Mr. Reppas said it appeared that the some 20 people in the two boats were journalists, as they were carrying cameras.

    He said that the entire incident occurred under the watch of a Turkish patrol boat sailing in Turkish territorial waters.

    When the Turkish boats were detected, a Greek patrol boat permanently on duty in the region informed them through a loudhailer that they had entered Greek waters.

    Two of the people on the boats then jumped into the sea and appeared to be making for the coast of the barren islets of Imia but returned to the boats shortly afterwards when told they would not be allowed to approach the islets.

    The Greek coast guard was not required to take any action and Mr. Reppas denied that there had been any shots fired.

    A foreign ministry announcement said that a Turkish boat had entered Greek waters but added that no person had landed on Imia and that the ministry was awaiting further details from the coast guard.

    Two Turkish newspapers, meanwhile, said a group of Turkish journalists attempted to land on the Imia islets over the weekend.

    Aksham and Hurriyet claimed that the group had been turned back by a Greek patrol boat and that a Turkish patrol boat had rushed to the scene.

    The Imia islets, near the island of Kalymnos in the eastern Aegean, were the focus of a tense stand-off in late January 1996 when Turkish journalists landed on the islets by helicopter and raised the Turkish flag.

    Ankara has made a number of conflicting claims to the islets and to other small islets which pepper the Aegean.

    The issue arose again on Friday, when Athens dismissed Turkey's reaction to reports of a plan by a Greek couple to marry and settle on the islet of Plati, in the eastern Aegean.

    The Turkish foreign ministry charged that Greece was aiming to change "the status of geographical formations" in the Aegean.

    Athens has maintained that if Ankara believes it has a case it should resort to the International Court at the Hague.

    "Since Turkey has not resorted to the Hague, this means that they have no strong argument," Mr. Reppas said yesteray.

    He said that the path chosen by Ankara was not the best for its own interests and that it should choose another.

    Athens News Agency

    [08] Humanitarian aid sent to Yugoslavia

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    Citizens in the northern city of Kavala have sent 80 tonnes of humanitarian aid in foodstuffs, medicines and clothing to the city Pozarevac in Yugoslavia. The aid was collected at the initiative of the local bishopric.

    In another dispatch, the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) party sent 22 tonnes of aid in foodstuffs and medicines to Yugoslavia. The load was collected by local organisations of the party.

    Athens News Agency

    [09] Tsohatzopoulos says nothing negotiable in the Aegean

    SOFIA, 18/05/1999 (ANA - S. Tzimas)

    Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday said that the efforts of those who attempt to create impressions are in vein, since there is nothing negotiable in the Aegean, commenting on the Turkish incursion on the Imia islets yesterday morning.

    Responding to a relevant question, he said that "these Imia stories are like reheated food. There will not be a problem."

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that "there should be more sobriety, more study of the international treaties and agreements, study of the maps which accompany those agreements, but most of all let some not succumb to proposals of political provocations that so me people irresponsibly bring to the region."

    He also said that the leaderships of the countries in the region "have the great responsibility to contribute toward a responsible and at the same time decisive stance over what is up for discussion and what is not."

    Athens News Agency

    [10] State telecom set for new float in July

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation's (OTE) fourth flotation will be launched in July, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said yesterday.

    Speaking after a meeting with the management of public corporations, Mr. Papantoniou also said that the Corinth Canal, the Piraeus and Thessaloniki port authorities, and Athens and Thessaloniki water utilities would be partly privatised by the end of the year. In addition, the Athens horse racing track would shift into private hands.

    Mr. Papantoniou reiterated that public utility charges would remain frozen this year, and that incomes policy in state firms should stay in line with government guidelines.

    Decisions taken at the meeting were:

  • To speed up restructuring in state firms and develop new business to boost profitability
  • Tighten cooperation among public companies and the national economy ministry to better exploit an anticipated 50 percent increase in EU funds from the upcoming Third Community Support Framework compared with the current Second CSF
  • Monitor state companies on a quarterly basis

    Mr. Papantoniou also announced changes in legislation to promote restructuring and modernisation in public companies.

    Athens News Agency

    [11] Stocks slump in technical correction

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    Equity prices succumbed to profit-taking yesterday in what traders described as a normal reaction to the market's record-breaking rally.

    The general index ended 2.37 percent lower at 3,936.59 points, off the day's lows. Turnover was 215.031 billion drachmas and volume 43,966,804 shares.

    Dealers said fears of a prolonged war in Yugoslavia combined with a decline at the opening in other European bourses undermined sentiment on the Athens Stock Exchange, beyond the need for a correction.

    The market, however, reacted calmly to reports of Greek-Turkish tension in the Aegean Sea.

    Sector indices mostly suffered losses. Banks fell 1.92 percent, Leasing plunged 6.47 percent, Insurance eased 0.46 percent, Investment ended 2.16 percent off, Construction rose 0.15 percent, Industrials fell 2.88 percent, Miscellaneous ended 1.10 percen t up and Holding dropped 3.21 percent.

    The parallel market index for small cap companies ended 1.18 percent lower while the FTSE/ASE 20 index fell 2.58 percent to 2,345.18.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 181 to 111 with another four issues unchanged.

    Thessaliki, Fanco, Macedonian Textiles and Eskimo were the most heavily traded stocks.

    A total of 31 stocks ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit up.

    Among them were Mohlos, Britannia, Nimatemboriki, Development Invest, Nafpaktos, Alysida, Tasoglou, Mosholios Chemicals, European Credit.

    A total of 16 issues ended at the day's 8.0 percent limit down, including Allatini, Seafarm Ionian, Mytilineos, Macedonian Plastics, General Warehouses, Sato, ANEK Lines, Ionian Hotels, Keranis and Metka.

    National Bank of Greece ended at 21,400 drachmas, Alpha Credit Bank at 21, 400, Ergobank at 29,200, Ionian Bank at 16,750, Titan Cement at 26,700, Hellenic Petroleum at 2,610, Intracom at 22,480, Minoan Lines at 7,700, Panafon at 7,790 and Hellenic Telecoms at 7,150.

    Bond prices slip in flaccid trade : Bond prices shed around 15 basis points yesterday in scant turnover. Electronic trade totalled 26 billion drachmas from 156 billion drachmas on Friday and 53 billion drachmas on Thursday.

    The ten-year-bond was trading around 103.90, showing a yield of 5.74 percent to 5.76 percent. The yield spread with German bunds was 163 basis points.

    In the foreign currency market, the drachma slid against the euro. At the central bank's daily fix, the euro was set at 325.40 drachmas from 324.840 drachmas in the previous session.

    Athens News Agency

    [12] Mutual fund assets represent 50 pct of bank deposits

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    Net assets of mutual funds totalled 9.47 trillion drachmas in April, an increase of 1.54 percent, or 144.14 billion drachmas, from the previous month, Ionian Bank's research department said yesterday.

    Jumping by 16.42 percent were equity mutual fund assets, which rose to 979 billion drachmas in April, evidence that new capital is continuing to enter the stock market.

    Mutual fund net assets had increased by 5.37 percent, or 482.97 billion drachmas, on April 30 from December 31, 1998.

    The report also said that mutual fund assets accounted for 50.84 percent of private bank deposits in February, sharply up from 10.5 percent at the end of 1994.

    Athens News Agency

    [13] Investment companies show rise in market value

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    The country's 16 investment companies in April showed a 12.87 percent increase in market value to 478.3 billion drachmas from 423.8 billion a month earlier.

    Market value on December 31 was 322.9 billion drachmas, which means a rise of 48.16 percent in April against the end-of-year figure.

    The data is released monthly by the Union of Institutional Investors.

    Athens News Agency

    [14] Naoussa Spinning Mills to boost share capital

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    Naoussa Spinning Mills, which is listed on the Athens Stock Exchange, yesterday gained shareholder approval for a share capital increase of 42 billion drachmas in order to finance a programme of alliances and acquisitions in 1999.

    The company, which belongs to the listed Klonatex Group, is to give shareholders a dividend of 45 drachmas per share from 1998 profits.

    Naoussa officials also announced the creation of a subsidiary in Cyprus called NSM Investments Ltd with a share capital of 4.0 billion drachmas.

    The new firm will buy share capital in textiles companies, and trade derivatives and raw materials.

    In the first quarter, Naoussa posted pre-tax profits of 690 million drachmas, up 130 percent on a year earlier. Turnover rose to 6.8 billion drachmas, up 15.2 percent on the first quarter of 1998.

    Athens News Agency

    [15] Conference held on small and medium size enterprises

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    A conference organised by the Development Ministry and the Hellenic Organisation of Small and Medium Size Enterprises and Craftsmen EOMMEX held yesterday on "Greek small and medium size enterprises at the beginning of the 21st century" was a great success since more than 600 businessmen and representatives of small and medium size agencies thronged the Macedonia Hall at the Caravel Hotel.

    Addresses were made, among others, by Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Development Minister Anna Diamantopoulou, Deputy Development Minister for Trade Affairs Mr. G. Haralambous and EOMMEX President Mr. G. Frantzeskakis.

    Mr. Venizelos referred in his address to EOMMEX's new role in cooperation with regional services. He also focused on the important role played by the small and very small enterprise, particularly at the time of the post- industrial model of development a nd on the beneficial repercussions small and medium size enterprises have on employment and on self-employment.

    Athens News Agency

    [16] Athens Foreign Exchange

    Athens, 18/05/1999 (ANA)

    Bank of Greece closing rates of: May 17, 1999

    Paarities in Drachmas

    Banknotes             Buying  Selling
    US Dollar             302.342 309.352
    Can.Dollar            206.157 210.937
    Australian Dlr        200.895 205.553
    Pound Sterling        489.492 500.842
    Irish Punt            409.868 419.371
    Pound Cyprus          557.504 570.430
    Pound Malta           723.444 753.588
    Turkish pound (100)     0.068   0.071
    French franc           49.210  50.351
    Swiss franc           201.396 206.065
    Belgian franc           8.002   8.187
    German Mark           165.043 168.870
    Finnish Mark           54.290  55.549
    Dutch Guilder         146.479 149.875
    Danish Kr.             43.432  44.439
    Swedish Kr.            35.944  36.778
    Norwegian Kr.          39.412  40.326
    Austrian Sh.           23.459  24.003
    Italian lira (100)     16.672 17.058
    Yen (100)             245.689 251.385
    Spanish Peseta          1.940   1.985
    Port. Escudo            1.610   1.647
    
    Foreign Exchange      Buying  Selling
    New York              302.342 309.352
    Montreal              206.157 210.937
    Sydney                200.895 205.553
    London                489.492 500.842
    Dublin                409.868 419.371
    Nicosia               557.504 570.430
    Paris                  49.210  50.351
    Zurich                201.396 206.065
    Brussels                8.002   8.187
    Frankfurt             165.043 168.870
    Helsinki               54.290  55.549
    Amsterdam             146.479 149.875
    Copenhagen             43.432  44.439
    Stockholm              35.944  36.778
    Oslo                   39.412  40.326
    Vienna                 23.459  24.003
    Milan                  16.672  17.058
    Tokyo                 245.689 251.385
    Madrid                  1.940   1.985
    Lisbon                  1.610   1.647
    
    Athens News Agency

    [17] 'Greece and the New Balkans'

    NEW YORK, 18/05/1999 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)

    The Greek-American publishing house "Pella" is negotiating the publication of the "Greece and the New Balkans" 500-page study of the Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies Centre of Queens.

    The study deals with the developments, challenges and opportunities offered to Greece by the post-Cold War Balkans.

    Athens News Agency

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